Get the girls, get the wine.



I love having my future in-laws in town but I also love my freedom. You lose a little bit of the latter when you have company staying with you. Not complaining, it has been a fun week that included day trips, date nights, movies and games. Friday we are going to the casino, soo not my scene but the people-watching will be fun. We only see Todd’s parents a few times a year so it is nice to have time with them. Plus, they are so easy going that it is pretty effortless on me as a hostess while they stay with us.

After their visits though I am eager to get back to business as usual. One thing I miss when we have company in town is my girlfriends. I do not see them at all. I don’t get to talk to them as much either. I literally sent one an email today to check in.

The item on the top of my agenda once I am free to make plans again is a girls night. My friends and I agreed on the near by wine bar and then a night downtown. The wine bar was my suggestion. We all love the bar anyway, but in truth my motives for choosing it are selfish. I am out of my favorite white and that is where I usually get it. I am  looking forward to a cheese, wine and girl talk.

I had the meeting with my academic advisor in the program yesterday. Let me begin by expressing my total frustration with the parking situation. If I am paying 100.00 for parking on campus I expect to be able to actually find parking on campus. I quickly learned I am going to have to keep my expectations low in this area. I knew parking would be hairy so I arrived two hours early. I had my book and my decaf, I planned to get parked and read down stairs until it was time for my meeting. My plan went up in smokes when I arrived on campus. An hour and fifteen minutes of looking for parking and I finally managed to get myself parked. I arrived 15 minutes before my scheduled time. Good grief.

The meeting itself went well. I have my academic plan laid out, the courses for my major and the minor I am considering pursuing line up so I am all set. I sign up for classes next week at orientation and the rest will fall into place from there.

I have to say it’s nice to have a few posts actually relating to school recently. I love what this blog has been for me, a place to think, vent, and a general release of whatever it is that may be banging around inside me at any given time. I started it with a purpose though, to document my experiences as a returning student and I have not lost sight of that. I am excited for what the future holds as I navigate the school of social work and being able to look back at these posts later and remember this moment in time.


We are on day five of Todd’s parents visit and it has been great. Saturday we took a day trip to the Gulf Coast and spent the day at Clearwater beach. It was a beautiful day for the beach. Sunday we had brunch downtown and then walked over to the farmer’s market to buy produce for dinner. After we left downtown we took Lucy to the dog park. Later my parents came over and we grilled.

This week I have my first meeting with my advisor from the program. Next week is orientation to UCF. Then in May I start classes. I cannot wait.

While we were driving to Clearwater this weekend I saw a billboard for the Dali museum and they have a Warhol exhibit going on until April 27th. I think Todd and I may take a weekend trip to the beach in April so we can see it.

Company Calls

I can  not say with certainty but it sounds as though Todd’s parents may be coming for a visit tomorrow. Arrival and departure time are usually vague when they com to visit because they drive which means they are able to come and go as they feel. I am excited. I already have the house presentable for guests but I do need to finish removing all the wedding odds and ends from the guest room. Our guest room has acted as storage for everything wedding related these many months. I am hoping we will have a chance to get out to a beach while they are in town, so long as the weather is nice of course.

My dad reminded me over the weekend that we are exactly (or were on that particular day) 8 months out from the wedding. It is hard for me to believe. It still feels a bit surreal to me. As a woman this, becoming married, is something you think about for so long. In every serious relationship you have you think, “could he be the one?”. More often than not the answer is No. For the answer to finally be yes and know that in less than a year I will be changing my name and promising my devotion to someone for the rest of my life, it’s just hard to believe it is actually happening.

It took a while for the newness of being engaged to wear off, now it feels normal. This will be the same I am sure. I am so looking forward to it though.

Well it is another beautiful sunny day so I think Lucy and I will go for a run before setting in to start my chores for the day.

Weekend recap and an important letter

It has been a busy weekend, the weekends when Todd has Friday off always are. We took Lucy to her first appointment with the vet where we found out she has a cold. Poor thing is now on three different medications and has to have her ears flushed twice a week. On the bright side it means she gets a special treat twice a day that her pills are hidden in so she hasn’t minded the too much. After the vet appointment we took her to the dog park near downtown, she had a blast. It is 23 acres and is on a lake. She and the other dogs chased each other on the beach and splashed in the water, it was cute. Todd had an appointment downtown at 2:00 so we had lunch at an outdoor, doggy friendly, restaurant and then walked around the lake downtown until he had to go. Lucy and I spent the next hour sitting by the lake under the trees waiting for Todd. I read while she napped.

When we got home I showered, changed and got ready to run out the door to meet my girlfriend for dinner and then a night out together. On my way out the front door I checked the mail box and found a letter addressed to myself from UCF. THIS WAS IT, THE LETTER I HAD BEEN WAITING FOR! I ran back inside, found Todd and opened the letter. I read half of the first line out loud, “Dear Jill I am writing you to officially acknowledge your acceptance..” I dropped the letter and leaped into Todd’s arms. After putting me back down again he picked up the letter and finished reading it out loud to me. By far the best moment I have experienced since becoming engaged. I found myself wishing I could bottle that feeling again. I have to make some appointments, set up orientation and sign up for classes but that’s it, I am in! As of this summer I will officially be studying Social Work at UCF. It is a wonderful feeling to finally be here. I cannot wait to get started.

So now running 20 minutes late to get to my friend’s house I floated out the front door and started driving to my friend’s house. Luckily she only lives 5 minutes away and she is also in walking distance to everything. I made it there with time to spare before we had to be at the restaurant for our reservation so we shared some wine and celebrated my news. We had dinner at the tapas restaurant near her house and then walked back to her place to catch a cab downtown. It was a great night. We ran into a bunch of people we know, it seemed like everyone was out.

Saturday Todd assembled bookshelves while I cleaned. Once we were both finished we drove out to my parents house by way of the dog park. We spent the rest of the night playing with the kids, the dogs and then playing cards.

Today has been a lazy day around the house, the best kind of Sundays. We did some more chores, I stocked the new shelves with books and picture frames and made our list for the grocery. Todd and Lucy are napping now,  then we will go to the grocery and come home and grill.

I am contented and grateful heart and soul in this moment. Life is good and I am thankful.

Death by Daydream


I was driving down University, the road by the college, yesterday completely caught in a daydream when I suddenly snapped out of it and was a bit terrified. Have you ever been driving and reached your destination wondering “How the hell did I get here”? You don’t even remember driving. That is terrifying to me, right up there with sneezing while driving. The route you are driving is so routine that you mentally check out.

Such was the case for me. Todd had just given me the OK to purchase the bookshelves we had been mulling over for the last week so I was on my way to the store. I was picturing how I would arrange our books and how perfect they will look framing our fire place in the living room. It all seems quite ridiculous now looking back at it. What a superficial thing to be thinking about when I should be thinking about what is going on around me on the road. I admit I am a bit embarrassed. I get all wound up about distracted drivers just to end up a hypocrite. I just have a different distraction, my thoughts.

We are all hypocrites though, no one wants to admit it but we are not made to be perfect which means at times it happens.

I am a serial daydreamer, constantly lost in my own thoughts when alone. It is when I get my best ideas, it is where my creativity stems from. I just need to be a little more aware of it when my mind should be focusing on a specific task, like driving. As excited as I am to finally have bookshelves large enough to hold all of our books it is not worth causing an accident over.

The female relationship

bus stop girls

Female friendships are essential to the sanity of women world-wide. Sometimes all the therapy one needs is a night out with the girls and wine of course, important not to forget the wine.

Something I have never been able to understand are females who claim they do not get along with other females. The “I only have guy friends” type. I have male friends as well but nothing compares to the close bond a woman has with another woman. My three best friends understand me on a level Todd will never be able to simply because biologically speaking, he is wired differently. Todd understands me pretty well and he definitely gets me but it is just different with your friends, I think most women would agree.

This is something that has been rolling around in my mind on and off for months and just resurfaced over the weekend. One of my best friends stopped by last week to meet Lucy and catch up for a while. We were talking about weekend plans, we recently had to rain check a girls night and have been trying to reschedule. the plan was to go out this past Saturday.When she came over she informed me that one of her clients from work was having her bachelorette party this weekend and my friend was invited last-minute.

I initially assumed that meant we would have to reschedule our night out and started to tell her that was fine when she asked me if I would be interested in going with her to the girls night. That was fine by me, my motto with girl’s nights has always been the more the merrier. She said she wanted to just run it by the bride but that she was sure it would be fine.

On Friday my friend calls me, sounding somewhat disgusted, stating that the girl “hosting” the bachelorette party told her it was not OK for her to bring anyone along. Apparently the girl was not aware the bride had even invited my friend so when my friend posed the question of bringing a friend the girl hosting was already put-off and responded snottily by saying, “Ummm I don’t know about that, I don’t think that’s going to work.” My friend was embarrassed by the cold response she received and apologized for asking. I told her it was fine, Todd and I ended up having a great date night so no harm no fowl. I felt terrible about how she was treated though.

Turns out Miss Snotty Pants who “organized” the evening ended up bailing on the bride hours before the event. I put “host” and “organize” in quotations because to claim this girl was doing either is a stretch. There was no dinner plans, no pre-party where everyone could meet up and ride together. There was no real planning involved. The plan was everyone meet at City Walk, which is the bar scene around Universal Studios.

Needless to say the whole thing sounded like a bust. When I spoke with my girlfriend this morning to see how the weekend went she explained to me that only one girl (other than herself and the actual bride showed up). My girlfriend ended up being the entire bachelorette party herself! What is even crazier is she barely knows this girl. This wasn’t exactly what she signed up for but she was happy to show the girl a good time.

I was baffled when she told me her story. Where were this girl’s friends? Why was her party group composed of coworkers and professional acquaintances? Most of whom did not even bother to show. I don’t mean to pity her, it is less about the party being a dud and more about the lack of female relationships that makes me feel sad about the story.

I only have a small handful of close friendships, that is how it has always been for me, but they are significant. These girls have been my life line throughout the years. They have seen my ugly, my sad, my angry, my broken. They have been my steady balance.

I love girl time and for me it is usually the more the merrier because that interaction with other girls who get you is so refreshing. I feel rejuvenated after time with my girlfriends. There would be something missing without these relationships.

This week I have lunch plans with a friend from school and then this weekend my friend and I will finally have out night out together. I cannot wait, a piece of me is more aware and consciously grateful for this time with my friends, just me and the girls.


Little Lucy


This little girl came into our lives over the weekend and we could not be happier. We rescued Lucy from the Humane Society Saturday. She is happy and energetic, dispositions that the boxer breed is known for, she is also incredibly gentle and surprisingly well-behaved.

After we left the shelter we drove out to my parent’s house and let her play in their backyard with the family pug, Scout. They had a blast, although Lucy did mow Scouty down once or twice on accident. Then my brother, sister-in-law and the kids came over. Isaac and Lucy were running buddies the rest of the day. Isaac is always looking for someone to race with, Lucy was more than happy to oblige. Isaac managed to get mowed down once too, he thought that was hilarious.

Sunday we got up at 7 and went on a nice long walk by way of the grocery . We spent the rest of the day in the backyard working and my parents came over in the afternoon to help. Todd and I are both quite impressed with Lucy’s manners. She is such a sweet girl. Good on a leash, good in the car, does not get on the furniture, knows how to sit, stay and shake.. Someone clearly put their time in training her.

We’re very excited about Lu joining the family.